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Donna Edwards for Congress – Maryland’s 4th District: Edwards Scores Upset Primary Win

donna edwards

The Office 
The race for Congress in Maryland’s 4th District.

The Candidate 
Donna Edwards, an accomplished public servant who has dedicated her career to service. A single mother who overcame challenging circumstances herself, Donna has worked tirelessly to make a real, lasting difference in the lives of others – from co-founding the National Network to End Domestic Violence and leading the fight for the landmark Violence Against Women Act, to spearheading campaign finance and lobbying reform efforts at Public Citizen and working to strengthen protections for labor rights as executive director of the Arca Foundation.

The Challenge 
Donna faced the district’s 16-year incumbent Democratic Congressman, Al Wynn, who started the race with a disproportionate share of resources and the backing of several prominent Democratic leaders and institutions.

The Outcome 
Lake Research Partners’ research – along with Donna’s message of progressive change and the groundswell of grassroots and institutional support that her message generated – propelled her to a stunning 25-point victory.

The Methodology 
Donna first challenged Wynn in 2006. With LRP guiding the research on messaging and targeting, Donna managed to pull within three points of victory despite being outspent by a wide margin. Riding a wave of enthusiasm from her 2006 race, Donna challenged Wynn again in 2008. LRP’s research helped Donna develop essential contrasts in her message by identifying the most persuasive elements of her candidacy, and helped upend the conventional wisdom about Al Wynn by uncovering the core vulnerabilities in his profile. LRP identified critical GOTV and persuasion targets, and found the messages that inspired Democrats to brave the sleet and snow and vote for Donna on Election Day.

The Team 
Lake Research Partners (Celinda LakeDaniel GotoffMark KeidaMatt Price
GMMB 
Stones Phones 
TruBlu Politics